Categories
Chinese Vietnamese

Lee Chef – Parramatta NSW Restaurant Review

Lee Chef is your friendly neighbourhood ethnically ambiguous Chinese/Vietnamese restaurant. Open until 10PM, they have, on multiple occasions, patiently remained open as we slurped up our post-shift pho and eaten our fill of authentic Asian classics.

The fried chicken wings were great. They were lightly battered and freshly fried, seasoned with 椒盐 (jiao yan), which is a traditional Chinese salt and chilli pepper seasoning. Each wing was crispy on the outside but moist on the inside – perfectly executed.

The vegetarian spring rolls were not great – in fact they teetered on the edge of actively bad. They were brought out very quickly and didn’t really feel like they had been heated all the way through. The filling inside the spring rolls were lukewarm at best, and displayed a mushy texture. We didn’t end up finishing these spring rolls – they were simply calories for punishment.

The Combination Beef Pho was wholesome and authentic. All elements were good. The protein component consisted of rare beef, beef balls, tendon, and beef rum. The soup was full of umami flavours and not too sweet or salty – just right. The side of Vietnamese mint and bean sprouts was not only adequate but generous. I am blessed to live near a restaurant that can deliver such consistently good pho.

I was less impressed by the Hainan Chicken Rice. I found the chicken too bland and tasteless and the rice a bit too hard, though I did appreciate the soup and the generous serving of chilli and ginger and shallot condiments. My partner was a much bigger fan of this dish than I was.

The combination bean curd hot pot was of quality and taste commensurate with its price. I do love myself a combination bean curd hot pot.

VERDICT
Quality neighbourhood eatery
Hits all the classics right in the bullseye
Wouldn’t travel for it, but will keep coming back again and again this year.
4/5

Lee Chef
1/140 Church St, Parramatta NSW 2150
(02) 8677 4425

Categories
Bakery Vietnamese

Marrickville Pork Roll – Marrickville NSW Banh Mi Review

Embattled Marrickville banh mi store is basically three Vietnamese women working in cramped quarters in the Up house. The recipient of frequent fines for food safety and cleanliness, Marrickville Pork Roll has been variously described as the best or second best pork rolls of the inner suburbs.

Sliced pork banh mi ($6). This banh mi is not faultable. The bread was fresh and soft. There was a good variety and quantity of both salads and meat. The pate was applied generously. This pork roll ticked all the boxes.

Crackling pork belly banh mi ($8). The review is essentially the same, with the change in meat. Great crispy texture. Lots of delicious pate. Can’t go wrong.

VERDICT

Overall I think Marrickville Pork Roll produces some pretty unfaultable banh mi. The problem is that banh mi has developed to so much of an art form that there are multiple equal-level competitors vying for first place.

I wouldn’t travel for this pork roll if there’s a suitable competitor nearby.

Marrickville Pork Roll
236 Illawarra Rd, Marrickville NSW 2204
0479 000 445

Categories
Vietnamese

Khoi Eatery – Marrickville NSW Vietnamese Restaurant Review

Khoi Eatery has a strong social media game – so strong in fact, that I ate there after initially intending to have lunch at Khoi’s in Surry Hill – a completely different business.

Unfortunately the COMBINATION PHO PHỞ ĐẶC BIỆT (Regular – $14) was pretty standard. It was not bad, but there was nothing standout about it. The rare beef was not particularly rare, and the brisket, tripe, and tendon were all good but not amazing. The beef balls were probably the only part that was better than average, with a special texture to it. The soup was not a standout either.

Chopped fresh chilli was served inside this jar with no utensil, which given the current COVID-19 climate (this meal was eaten in late 2020) I was hesitant to touch. I would have felt much safer had this been served on a plate – who knows how many people have had their grubby hands in here?

The CHARGRILLED PORK SKEWERS (NEM NƯỚNG LỤI – $10) were not bad, but not what I expected. Not being Vietnamese I did not know that these would be minced meat, like kofta or seekh kebab. They had a sweet taste, similar to char siu.

The other half was busy studying for her ANZCA primary and unwilling to leave her cave. I brought home a serving of BBQ PORK CHOP BROKEN RICE (CƠM TẤM SƯỜN) ($13) as takeaway. This was actually quite a good dish – the BBQ pork was tasty and nicely marinated, and there was a good quantity of it. The sunny side up egg was cooked to a perfect degree of runniness. It also happened to be extremely cheap. I suspect that had I eaten this at the restaurant my overall impression of Khoi Eatery would be better.


OVERALL
My overall impression is that Khoi Eatery is fine, but not great. There’s nothing particularly wrong with their food, but also nothing particularly right. I ate at Khoi Eatery so that you don’t have to. See what else might be available up the road.

3.5 porks

Khoi Eatery
310 Illawarra Rd, Marrickville NSW 2204
+61 (02) 8385 0060

Khoi Eatery Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
Categories
Asian Fusion Café Italian Vietnamese

Mentmore and Morley – Rosebery NSW Cafe Review

Where be your gibes now? Your gambols? Your songs? Your flashes of merriment that were wont to set the table on a roar? 

Memento Mori is one of the spookiest cafes in all of Rosebery. The constant reminder of our impending deaths is something I usually only experience while hanging out with one of my senior intensive care colleagues. I never thought that such a feeling could be distilled into a cafe, but the wizards behind Mentmore and Morley named their restaurant just so.

Wow. Let me tell you about these textured plates. They’re from IKEA, but I couldn’t identify them on IKEA’s online store. Again wow.

While I cannot quite tell you the name of this veal scaloppine style dish with assorted vegetables, I can tell you that it was quite good. I especially enjoyed the tomatoes.

The seasonal special, pork knuckle with Vietnamese slaw was around $30. It was a whole pork knuckle, slow roasted with skin on. The skin was quite crispy and delicious, and the meat tender. I was initially skeptical of the Vietnamese slaw, but the acidic flavours helped cut through the fat perfectly. A good pairing.

Coffee was no better or worse than standard.

While the name of Memento Mori was spooky, this did not extend to the food, which was a mixture of Italian and Vietnamese cuisines. I can recommend going to get spooked.

4 out of 5 Yoricks.

Mentmore & Morley Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
Categories
Asian Fusion Vietnamese

Bang Tang – Potts Point NSW Restaurant Review

Bang Tang is a small South-East Asian fusion eatery in Potts Point, located unfortunately close to Ms G, a somewhat more famous and upscale competitor.

While it’s my understanding that there is usually lots of outdoor dining space, we ate lunch on a very rainy day in Potts Point, and internal seating was limited to only a few small tables. The small interior room really gave the place the vibe of a small diner. The service was good, and the food was served quickly. We finished our meal within 50 minutes, which was good as the nearby street parking is limited to 1 and 2 hour spots.

The cigar roll (2 for $6) is one of Bang Tang’s specialties. It is a thick, crispy chicken spring roll with a characteristic dry internal filling structure. It was quite large, fresh, a nd delicious, although I couldn’t help but feel that the skewer on which it was served was superfluous. It was much easier to eat with fingers, and chopsticks would have been fine as well.

The prawn and scallop dumpling (2 for $12) were a daily special, and quite delicious. We were disappointed when they were served, as they looked flat and unappealing, however this all changed when we tasted them. The filling had a great scallop taste, and the pastry wrapping was also delicious. Unfortunately we weren’t told the price of the dish, and in fact I did not realise they were $12 until writing this review and I took a look at the receipt. $6 for a single dumpling is far too much. But yum.

Bang Broth Noodle ($17)

The Bang Broth Noodle ($17) was basically a chicken pho but with rice noodle rolls instead of rice noodle strips. I liked it. I enjoyed the clear broth and the voluminous serving of fresh bean sprouts and herbs. My partner, who does not like chicken, did not like it as she thought that the roast chicken could’ve been any chicken that was roasted and split up. She is a chicken hater.

Duck It Up bowl ($24)

The Duck It Up bowl ($24) was a mixture of strongly marinated duck breast, rice, hoisin sauce and maple syrup, tofu, nuts, bean sprouts, herbs. My feelings about this dish were quite mixed. I thought that the fresh bites of vegetables, herbs, and bean sprouts were deliciously fresh, and that the nuts and other crunchy bits provided a great variation in texture. On the other hand, I thought that the duck and the rice and sauce components on the bottom of the bowl were too tasty and oversauced. It was basically two meals in one – one that I very much enjoyed the freshness of, and one that I thought was too bogged down in sauce. Even when mixing the bowl together I found that the entire bowl was too sauced. I particularly didn’t care for t he duck, which was too sauced, however my girlfriend enjoyed it.

Overall I quite enjoyed the food at Bang Tang. Everything ranged from good to great. I did think that the expensive prawn and scallop dumplings were a bit of a price shock, however their good taste almost made up for it. I would definitely recommend Bang Tang for a quick dinner, however I don’t know how the logistics would work for a long date or dinner with a group of friends as parking is quite limited.

4/5

Bang Tang
2/145 Victoria St, Potts Point NSW 2011
(02) 8542 0133

Bang Tang Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato